SAC Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends 75th Anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) ceremony of founding bilateral relations and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India
NAY PYI TAW May 14
Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attended the ceremony to mark the 75th Anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) ceremony of founding bilateral relations and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India organized by the Myanmar-India International Business Federation and the Myanmar-India Friendship and Development Association at the National Theatre in Yangon yesterday evening.
Also present at the ceremony together with the Senior General were his wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Council Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo and wife, Union ministers and wives, the Yangon Region Chief Minister, senior military officers and wives, the Indian Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Vinay Kumar and wife, officials of Indian Embassy and the Defence Attaché Office to Myanmar, the commander of Yangon Command, ambassadors of foreign embassies to Myanmar and officials, the president and officials of Myanmar-India International Business Federation, officials of Myanmar-India Friendship and Development Association and guests.
As the Senior General and wife arrived at the venue where the ceremony would be held, Indian Ambassador to Myanmar H.E.Mr. Vinay Kumar and wife, ambassadors and officials from foreign embassies to Myanmar,the president and officials of Myanmar-India International Business Federation and officials welcomed them.
The Senior General and the Indian Ambassador pressed the button to launch the 75th Anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) ceremony to mark the founding bilateral relations and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India and had documentary photos taken together with attendees.
The Senior General and party viewed round the photo gallery to mark the ceremony.
Then, a video clip on 75th Anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) ceremony of founding bilateral relations and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India was shown.
Speaking on the occasion, the Senior General said that Myanmar and India established the diplomatic relations on 4 January 1948 when Myanmar regained independence. So, it turned 75 years. Before the diplomatic relations, both countries have been preserving the traditions on religious, culture and social affairs for hundreds of years and both countries are sharing long borders.
According to the records, Myanmar and India have been vitalizing the religious and cultural relations since the reign of King Asoka. After the third Buddhist Synod, King Asoka send Buddhist missionaries to nine regions, initiating the Myanmar India relations. Moreover, some evidences were found that both countries communicated with each other in the Sri Ksetra era. In the time of Bagan, bilateral relations increased more.
Long term existence of bilateral relations is based on political backgrounds on life under colonial yoke of British colonialists, efforts to regain independence arresting Myanmar’s last king Thi Paw from Mandalay Yadanabon Palace to Ratanagiri of India and his demise at the venue, arresting last Muhgal Zafar Shah of India to Myanmar and his demise in Yangon, location of Myanmar monasteries in Budh Gaya in India, visits of Myanmar people to India on religious trips and these countries based on agricultural farms.
It can be seen that as both countries have been relating with each other since yore due to same religions, culture and customs, literature, fine arts, architectural and building sciences, ration, clothing and utensils as well as trading, many usage of these materials are the same.
For example, daily utensils and meals are commonly used in both Myanmar and Indian languages. Moreover, the Pusoe can be called as sarong.
Both Myanmar and India fell under the colonial yoke of British and they strived for independence struggling. In this regard, leaders of both countries communicated with each other and their fighting together plays a key role in bilateral relations.
General Aung San, who is Myanmar national leader as well as independence architect, and Indian national leader Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were respectful to each other. Before going to England to sign the Aung San-Atlee treaty which is important for Myanmar independence, both leaders held a meeting in New Delhi of India. Nehru gave his coat to General Aung San to endure weather of England showing their fraternity and attachment.
As both countries have common historical and geographical conditions, they cooperate with each other in trade and culture sectors based on bilateral relations of leaders from both countries.
Peoples from both countries are also communicating with each for development.
Moreover, India gave arm aid to Myanmar in the internal armed conflicts in the postindependence period. In 1951, Indian Prime Minister Nehru fully stood for Myanmar to fight against invasion of KMT. In addition, India actively supported Myanmar in submitting the objection on invasion of KMT to the United Nations. Myanmar never forgets the gratitude of India.
In the postindependence era, both countries maintained further friendly relations based on mutual understanding and good neighbourhood. In successive era, both leaders exchanged goodwill visits to enhance bilateral relations.
Myanmar and India signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship on 7 July 1951 under which lasting peace and friendship were built. The Colombo Conference held in Sri Lanka in April 1954 was attended by Myanmar Prime Minister U Nu and Indian Prime Minister Nehru together with Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Pakistan. Over the Kashmir crisis between India and Pakistan, the problem could be solved with the effort of U Nu.
Myanmar and India together signed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence held at the Bandung Conference held in Indonesia in 1955.
When Myanmar suffered an economic crisis in 1954, India as a good neighbor sold 900,000 tons of rice, which is still in the minds of Myanmar people.
Bilateral trade gradually increased after signing a Myanmar-India trade agreement in 1970.
India is the fifth largest trade partner of Myanmar. India is ranked fourth in export and fifth in import. Myanmar exports beans and other products, imports medicines and machinery and receives technological aid from India.
In repairing the Buddhist temples damaged by a quake in 2016, the Indian government made donations. Moreover, it sold 13.4 million doses of Covishield vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sasakawa Foundation donated two million doses of Covaxin and the Indian government one million doses of the same vaccine. And Myanmar is sincerely grateful for all these.
Besides, cooperation is going on for the Kaladan Multimodal Project and India-Myanmar-Thailand highway project. The Kaladan project connects Sittwe Port and Mizoram Province in northeastern India. There will be more job opportunities for the people of Rakhine and Chin states. The project will play a key role in regional development.
As part of the project that includes Sittwe Port, a special economic zone will emerge as well.
Having a similar interest, Myanmar and India will be cooperating in the areas of defence, agriculture, livestock breeding, fishery, rural development, energy, foodstuff, clothing, technology, health, education and vocation, tourism, service, renewable energy, banking and finance.
Both countries have seen a lot of benefits from the bilateral cooperation and friendship between successive Indian leaders from Prime Minister Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Manmohan Singh to Narendra Modi and Myanmar leaders in the political field including Tatmadaw leaders including myself over the 75 years of diplomatic ties. Under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Myanmar and India’s relations have reached a crucial juncture.
In retrospect also, the two nations have shown mutual respect for each other as good neighbours and friends in line with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
At a time when our State Administration Council assumes State duties in accord with the constitution (2008), it can be seen that the two countries are continuously working to promote and strengthen cooperation in multiple sectors based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the independent,active and nonalignment policy.
Myanmar is located at the centre of South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. In accord with the Look East Policy that Prime Minister has voiced as a slogan since 2014 Narendra Modi, Myanmar is a strategically important country for India wishing to communicate with Southeast Asia. Moreover, Myanmar bridges India and Southeast Asia. If such important geopolitical advantages are to be fully used, there will be mutual benefits between the two peoples of the two countries.
The establishment of India Centre in Yangon in December 2021 shows a symbol of bilateral friendship, which will facilitate the mutual contact and understanding between the two countries.
Thanks to the efforts based on a “policy of prioritizing the neighbour”plus bilateral cooperation between the areas of politics, economy, trade, culture and socioeconomic development have yielded benefits and good results. These are all a great pleasure for us.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to India for its help in the development of human resources, which is a key to the establishment of the great democracy and federal system that the Myanmar people aspire to. The most obvious example is the fact that Myanmar sent more than 6,600 scholars to India between 2013 and 2021.
Now, the persons with doctorate degrees and persons with a master’s degree who were sent as scholars, are religious leaders, monks and nuns as well as Union level persons such as the Union Minister and Deputy Minister, and heads of departments in Union organizations and ministries and it will be a pleasure to see them serving such important responsibilities in the country’s administration.
The Senior General said that friendship, relationships and mutual support between Myanmar and India are endless as the years go by. If we look at the archive photos displayed at today’s ceremony, we will see the history and deep friendships between the two countries. When faced with difficulties and crises, we were able to overcome them together with the spirit of good friends and to this day, it will be evident that the leaders of the two countries have been able to maintain and promote the friendship with great foresight.
If we look at the world today, some of the powerful countries are concerned about the internal affairs of small countries, including our country, on various topics and they are interfering based on their selfinterest using a variety of things and methods.
Due to the importance of the geographical position of Myanmar, they are making pressure and coercion, criticisms and continuous actions of sanctions on us to shape our country according to their own will, as their puppets and under their influence and we have a belief that “Full strength lies within the country”. On behalf of the people of Myanmar, I would like to express my gratitude to the international friends, including India, who have been supporting their country in a positive way, as the good neighbors’ genuine attitudes and support have given a great strength to the people of Myanmar when we are facing the difficulties and crises.
The most important need of all the countries that exist together in the modern world is peace, stability and development of socioeconomic life. In order to fulfill these requirements, we have fully realized that we must make efforts to strengthen international relations.
Therefore, no matter what challenges Myanmar faces, we would like to state clearly that we will actively continue cooperation with the countries of the world and regional organizations, including the United Nations and as a country that emphasizes ethical rules that will not damage international relations and its country and the interests of its people.
In order to be able to carry out such actions, we set the fivepoint road map and 12 political, economic and social objectives that will be carried out during the period of our responsibility and in line with the motto “Moving forward to the goal”, we are working hard to implement them as long as we have the ability and strength. The Senior General expressed his hope that India would be able to continue cooperation with Myanmar as a good friend and a good neighbor.
75 year is a relatively long period and during this time, being able to maintain a relationship based on friendship, valuing mutual respect and recognizing the sovereignty of a country, is truly something to be proud of.
The Senior General said he was happy and satisfied to attend the ceremony to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the friendship and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India, which is full of both form and substance.
Therefore, on behalf of the national government, he would like to put it on record about the special gratitude to the individuals and organizations who have worked with full of good will to make this event happen.
The Senior General said that he would like to pray for the longterm strengthening of Myanmar-India friendship and the peaceful development of Myanmar-India relations from the Diamond Jubilee diplomatic relations and friendship between Myanmar and India, we can continue to develop and strengthen the close friendship in accordance with the old traditions, friendship, intercourse and mutual interests which will be developed not only for the government institutions between the two countries, but also for the people, bringing the benefit of the countries, benefit of the people with the development of regional interests, the peace of the countries, prosperity and development from the friendship between the two countries, the strong establishment between Myanmar and India and peaceful development between the two countries.
Then, the Indian Ambassador to Myanmar delivered a friendly speech to mark the 75th Anniversary of Myanmar-India friendship and diplomatic relations.
After that, the SAC Chairman and the members watched dances, songs and performances of the two cultural organizations of the two countries. After the performances, the SAC Chairman and the Ambassador of India to Myanmar presented awards to the cultural groups of the two countries.
Then it is reported that the SAC Chairman and his wife, the Indian Ambassador to Myanmar and his wife and those who attended the ceremony had a dinner together to commemorate 75th Anniversary of friendship and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India.